Being overweight is stressful on the body, and stress can worsen obesity-related health issues and make it harder to shed pounds—throwing people into a vicious cycle that seems impossible to escape. Now, a new study published in the journal Obesity offers a strategy that may help. In a group of overweight women, mindfulness training reduced stress and fasting blood sugar levels better than traditional health-education classes.
To study the effects of mindfulness, researchers from Penn State University randomly assigned 86 overweight or obese women to receive eight weekly sessions of either mindfulness-based stress reduction(MBSR), taught by a professional instructor, or general health education, taught by a registered dietitian.
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